Know yourself. Grow yourself.

Not all conversations are with other people. Some of the most important talks you’ll ever have are with yourself.

Knowing the right questions to ask, and having the courage to ask them, is the key to finding answers that can propel your life in new directions and heighten your EQ.

Our personal development programs help you explore those questions by instilling the confidence required to make that journey. And the skill set to accomplish it.

Because when you know yourself, you’ll know which direction to go. And why.

Listen to Yourself

The Trust Program™

The Trust Program™ is our five-day residential retreat that has proven to be a powerful catalyst for personal transformation, professional advancement and spiritual wholeness. Launched in 1997, it is our flagship program, about which every participant says "it changed my life." Over two decades later we can guarantee it will change yours, too....


We can help you grow from being really good at what you do to being great at who you are. Even the best of the best have coaches. Athletes and executives use coaches to keep them on course, helping them to practice properly, providing clarity and support....

The Joy Class

Much of this rejuvenating program involves reconnecting with your inherent creativity, really unplugging from your fast-as-light world and stepping into a slowed down existence where you have time and space to notice the real world around you....

The Trust Program™

Trust, both personally and professionally, has never been more important than it is today. The chaos and corruption of the last decade alone have caused people and organizations alike to rethink their priorities.

And now, a pandemic.

People are beginning to see that survival depends not on winning at all costs, but on building a community in which all participants thrive. They require members who possess a clear inner guidance system, a sense of knowing what is right and true and acting from that strong ethical center.

Values matter. But you need to be able to articulate them clearly to be able to live from them consistently.

“There is not one single person I know who would not benefit from this program.”

~John Sidler, The Sidler Group, Toronto 

Personally, many people feel something is missing in their lives, something that transcends money, career, status and other conventional measures of success. They crave substance beyond the material world, beyond platitudes and doctrines and creature comforts. Their spirit is starved for more.

Perhaps your busy, day-to-day life has caused you to lose sight of your professional goals, your personal dreams, even your life purpose. You may not have asked “big picture” questions of yourself lately: “Where am I headed?” “What brings meaning to my life?” “Why am I not happy?”

Even if you don’t know exactly what it is that is hampering your progress, through the program’s experiential exercises you will uncover your key stumbling blocks, move through them, and open the door to a brighter future.  Whether you’re leading a team, a company, a family or realigning your personal direction, The Trust Program will put you back in touch with your inner guidance system.

“This class allowed me to draw a line in the sand, take stock of my challenges, and make some clear decisions on how I want to spend the rest of my life.”

~ Bruce Shepley, Ottawa 

Every detail of the program is carefully designed to stimulate ultimate personal growth. Group and one-on-one discussions, light physical exercises and a guided process of self-examination lead you to a better understanding of yourself and your effects on those with whom you live and work.

You’ll see how key events, people, and decisions have shaped your life and coloured your decisions. Best of all, you’ll leave the program with a plan for the future and what you want to create.  The  Trust Program™ can help you accelerate your results ten-fold: you’ll accomplish in 50 hours what would take traditional therapy 50 weeks or more to accomplish. Hundreds and hundreds of people have validated that claim.

Why not become one of them and reacquaint yourself with a very important person: YOU.

“This class really delivers on its promise of ‘aligning who you really are and what really matters to you.’ It works because it focuses on the key requirement for human caterpillars to turn into spiritual butterflies.”

~Darien Kadens, Greenwich, CT U.S.A. 

The Trust Program addresses:

  • Self-sabotaging beliefs
  • Enmeshment issues
  • Rebuilding self-esteem
  • Restoring a spiritual awareness
  • Reconstructing a stronger foundation
  • Finding the “pearls” even in tragedy or crisis
  • Improving your Emotional Intelligence

And significantly aids in:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving emotional outlooks and attitudes
  • Enhancing relationships, specifically through more open, honest and direct communication

“I’ve found my inner voice again, rediscovered my self-worth. The Trust Program gives you the foundation to come back to when you need it most.”

~Andrea MacMillan, Toronto

Class size is limited to 8 participants fostering an intimate, confidential and comfortable setting.

You will be treated with respect, dignity and compassion to nourish your spirit, and you will be fed healthy, nutritious meals to nourish your bodies.

Your Investment:

$2750 Cnd, $2200 US (+ applicable taxes) for program tuition, summary book, supplies, meals, and accommodations.

The Trust Program is offered only a few times a year.  Advance registration is required.

2023 Program Dates: 

September 13—17, 2023

COVID has curtailed availability and frequency, however we still offer one program on Hill Island in 1000 Islands each September. 



Improvement in any endeavor requires good guidance.

Integration of that guidance is imperative: even the best of the best have coaches. Athletes and executives use coaches to keep them on course, helping them to practice properly, providing clarity and support.

Some questions to consider:

  • Do you feel like you’ve lost your “mojo?”
  • Are you struggling with feedback from a job performance review?
  • Do you often doubt yourself?
  • Do you feel like you’ve lost your passion for life or your purpose?
  • Do you avoid confrontation and conflict like the plague?
  • Has your spouse or boss expressed frustration when talking to you?
  • Have you been called arrogant or rigid or dictatorial by others?
  • On the flip side, have you been told you need to speak up more, express your feelings, stop sitting on the sidelines, ordevelop a spine?
  • Do you feel confident in most areas of your life and yet totally confused in conversations sometimes, especially with authority figures or members of the opposite sex?
  • Do you struggle with perfectionism and the need to try and control everything around you?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, it comes down to one of three things: clarity, confidence, or congruency issues that manifest themselves in communication.

“Lots of stuff resonated with me from our last talk.  Been absorbing it all. The best thing that has come of this last week is that I don’t have that confused feeling anymore.  It has been incredible to experience joy in the simplest things again.

c3-small-icon~Carla Lavalle, Toronto 

All of us have certain areas in which we feel confident and others where we feel less so. In some places, with some people, we have no problem saying what we mean or feel. With others we freeze up or become defensive too quickly, too easily. Or we re-play conversations in our heads, wondering if we said the right thing, worrying that we didn’t.

A good coach will help you understand why this is occurring, not just what to do about it. Confidence comes from within. The Latin root of the word itself, con fides, means ‘with faith.’ Coaching can help you develop faith in yourself in the areas of your life that you currently find confusing or difficult, especially when having hard conversations.

Your coach’s role is to help you move past your current challenge areas and become a clearer, more confident, more congruent communicator. Life gets easier, less stressful, and more rewarding when we feel we expressed ourselves well—and  we feel heard.

Pricing varies on focus, need and duration. Contact us for specific info.

The Joy Class

The Joy Class was birthed by the natural direction pursued by Trust Program graduates: a deeper search for authentic self-expression, an increase in personal peace and joy, and an integration of practices that support that journey.

The Joy Class is truly inspirational! Thank you.

c3-small-icon~Maureen Fisher, Ottawa

The program deepens your understanding of yourself, the world around you and how to harness true happiness. Fun, lively, and highly interactive, it focuses on five words: Calling, creativity, connection, compassion, and community—what they mean, why they are important to the quality of your experience of the world around you and how to live them more fully in your day to day life.

You’ll have the time and space to gain clarity on responses to some key questions:

  • How can I create a more joyful and rewarding life?
  • What is my purpose in life? My calling?
  • What can I contribute to the world?
  • How can I leave a lasting legacy? What will it be?

You’ll discover your Life Themes, and put a name to your Life Calling. These two pieces of information contain transformational power, yet they are only a part of what you’ll discover about yourself, your life and your place in the world.

Attending the Joy Class taught me how to be happy in the moment, more patient and accepting of myself and others, and how to use my talents in many areas of my life, not just my job. I had a great time!

c3-small-icon~Jenny Wiegand, Chicago

Each day begins with optional Tai Chi followed by a nutritious breakfast and a morning program session.

Then it’s time for lunch with your afternoons available for group work, sunning, reading, hiking, kayaking, or simply relaxing.

We follow dinner with a short evening session.

The heart-map was a magical process…If someone is looking to find heaven on earth this is the way to do it.

c3-small-icon~Sonja Carr, Toronto


NEXT CLASS: JULY 21—25, 2021 

LOCATION: Hill Island, Ontario

FEE: $1550 (+hst) for program, materials, meals and accommodations

Cynthia Barlow

Founder Cynthia Barlow

Facilitator, Author, Coach

Helping businesses build their people

When your people have the skills to communicate more effectively, they can connect more easily and collaborate more productively. Not only on the job, but also in life.

Communication, Connection, and Collaboration—the three “C’s”—are the cornerstones of all successful businesses. They are the result of Emotional Intelligence in action.

More details can be found in my recent best seller with co-author Jennifer Eggers:
Resilience: It’s Not About Bouncing Back

The power of resilience within organizations can transform an average company into a powerhouse. Yet, even in times of rapid disruptive change, there is no manual for building resilient organizations. This book is that manual.

“If you  want to build more resilience intentionally—personally and professionally—read this book.
Fran Karamousis, Chief  of Research, Gartner


Want To Talk? 1 (647) 544 - 1567
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